Isla's gifts were first shown in his Triunfo del amor y de la lealtad: Dia Grande de Navarra, a satirical description of the ceremonies at Pamplona in honour of Ferdinand VI.'s accession; its sly humour so far escaped the victims that they thanked the writer for his appreciation of their local efforts, but the true significance of the work was discovered shortly afterwards, and the protests were so violent that Isla was transferred by his superiors to another district.
He developed four well-defined characters in the process - a country farmer, Ezekiel Biglow, and his son Hosea; the Rev. Homer Wilbur, a shrewd old-fashioned country minister; and Birdofredum Sawin, a Northern renegade who enters the army, together with one or two subordinate characters; and his stinging satire and sly humour are so set forth in the vernacular of New England as to give at once a historic dignity to this form of speech.
Ivanushka, sipping out of her saucer, looked with sly womanish eyes from under her brows at the young men.
Konovnitsyn's firm, handsome, and kindly face was lit up by a tender, sly smile.
His eyes too seemed strange; at one moment they looked impudently sly and at the next glanced round in alarm.
Nevertheless the most domestic cat, which has lain on a rug all her days, appears quite at home in the woods, and, by her sly and stealthy behavior, proves herself more native there than the regular inhabitants.
A footman, thinking no one saw him, was drinking on the sly what was left in the glasses.
As soon as she had struck her pose, and smiled triumphantly, proudly, and with sly merriment, the fear that had at first seized Nicholas and the others that she might not do the right thing was at an end, and they were already admiring her.